More Mergers and Acquisitions Coming to Biotech Sector Print E-mail
By Access Wire   
Thursday, 10 June 2010 08:53
The biotech sector upswing has modestly continued despite fears on Wall Street, but concerns about the sector's future linger.

Still, mergers and acquisitions in the sector should be more active this summer as larger companies look to acquire specific technologies or revenue and because smaller companies do not have ready access to enough capital right now.

Two areas expected to see some M&A activity soon include experimental therapeutics based on RNA interference (RNAi) and novel therapeutics that harness the immune system to fight cancer.

Compounds based on both of these platforms represent a promising new class of very profitable drugs for the targeted treatment of diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

One of the greatest challenges for the pharmaceutical industry has in developing RNAi-based therapeutics has been finding ways to deliver them to their target while keeping them fully active. One company which has been attracting interest from some of the major pharmaceutical players is RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nasdaq: RXII). RXi's proprietary sd-rxRNA molecules, which have unique properties of 'self delivery' seem to be the focus of the interest. Earlier in the year, the company was rumored to be close to a deal, but walked away from talks after raising money. The stock tanked on fears of dilution, but in recent days, shares in the company have begun to rise on new speculation that news about a partnership may be close once again.

Another small company with a big target on their back at the moment is Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTC BB: NWBO.OB). Shares in the company have both risen and dropped in recent weeks as both whispers and published reports- including one by Louis Basenese of MoneyWeek, who put the company on his shortlist of takeover targets in this area.

Pharmaceutical industry leaders and investors are said to be very actively looking for the next personalized medicine breakthrough given Dendreon Corporation's (NASDAQ: DNDN) price appreciation from the announcement of their FDA approved Provenge immunotherapy treatment for prostate cancer.

Two days ago, after a detailed report authored by renowned research pharma analyst Dr. Navid Malik got the attention of many in the pharmaceutical industry. Several companies have placed calls inquiring about Northwest Biotherapeutics' vaccine to combat brain cancer, DCVax after his 40 page report from London extensively praised the personalized vaccine and its recent clinical trial results data.

The company is attracting more attention from institutional investors in recent weeks. Company officials have been cleaning up their books and are said to be preparing for more meetings in front of large hedge funds in the coming days. This could be a signal to some speculators that some positive activity is expected in the stock.

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